Bleeding after RT: I’m roughly 1... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Bleeding after RT

Jmr11820 profile image

I’m roughly 10 months out from RT and still have occasional rectal bleeding. Not always and not much, just bright red blood on paper and sometimes some blood on the BM. Is this relativity normal? Anyone else experience this?

30 Replies

No. Are you certain it’s not hemorrhoids? They can result with bright blotches on your toilet paper...

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to 6357axbz

No, I’m having a colonoscopy in a couple of weeks so should get my answer. I thought I’d heard on this forum that it wasn’t too unusual. Thanks for the response.

6357axbz profile image
6357axbz in reply to Jmr11820

FYI my RO told me to wait for 2 years after my RT to get a colonoscopy.

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to 6357axbz

I remember you told me that on a previous post. Answers seemed to be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. My GI doc seemed to think it was fine and RO agreed. As for the bleeding, I was taking Metamucil which does bulk things up.

Careful getting the colonoscopy now. The tissue is fragile from RT. Add some prunes to your morning breakfast. 4 a day help keep the hemorrhoids away. The Sunsweet ones actually taste ok.

Thanks for your advice.

podsart profile image
podsart in reply to 6357axbz

Yes, thought internal bleeding from rectum usually dark tarry stools and bright red blood was more due to hemorrhoids. That was my case.

Good luck

What does your radiation oncologist have to say?

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to Turt713171

Said it can happen as long as it’s not consistent and only slight bleeding

Yes, it's normal. As long as it's just some bright red spotting, there's nothing serious going on. I went to a proctologist who treated me for internal hemorrhoids. The radiation inflamed them. After that, I never had the problem.

Do not have a colonoscopy or any invasive procedure. Poking the friable tissues with instruments is asking for trouble.

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to Tall_Allen

Thanks for the info and the advice. Don’t you recall how long it was post RT that you finally went to the doc for the hemorrhoid treatment?

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen in reply to Jmr11820

I think it was about 3 months after. He just injected some phenol which was very soothing. Cleared it up within a few weeks.

That's a new one on me, but there is (now that I look for it) some literature about phenolics and hemorrhoids. We used to use escharotics to treat canker sores--yeah, immediate relief but takes longer to heal. Whatever works.

As it happens, I had an internal hemorrhoid banded on Wednesday. While I couldn't call it "soothing", I was actually amazed that the procedure was essentially painless.

I had bright blood for the last day of RT and the day after that. After that nothing. I decided against a Colonoscopy for 2 years and did a Cologuard test instead and that is good for 3 years. The only downside is the very small chance it was a false negative.

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to treedown

Thank you.

Ask for a long term prescription of trental. It can help heal the radiation damage.

Two years after salvage brachytherapy I had occasional blood with stool and I tested positive using ColoGuard. Colonoscopy revealed radiation proctitis which had been anticipated and the endoscope outfitted with an argon laser. The doc used the laser to coagulate the blood vessels that had formed from the radiation and he also removed one polyp distal from the proctitis. Subsequent pathology was cancer negative for the polyp. Blood in stool has gone away. Been 14 months since the colonoscopy. Photos taken during the procedure are very similar to ones in Wikipedia topic “radiation proctitis”.

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to kreg001

Thanks for your response.

My RO told me to expect SOME occasional blood in the stool and that it could last for a relatively brief period of time (a few months).

He said - don't be concerned - it's normal and should become infrequent in due time.

He was correct - I don't freak out anymore - only happens once in awhile and doesn't repeat days in a row - I think that's what you'd look for - frequency would be a warning sign - it might happen for me maybe once a month or less - nothing significant - about 2 1/2 years post RT.

Jmr11820 profile image
Jmr11820 in reply to RonnyBaby

Thank you. I’ll go a month or two with no blood and then maybe slight bleeding for a couple of days.

Isn't it the truth we panic at everything.....damn Pca has turned us into hypochondriacs.... Only thing I used to worry about was is my fly open....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Saturday 05/01/2021 10:23 PM DST

TomTom1111 profile image
TomTom1111 in reply to j-o-h-n

I guess you stopped worrying...your fly is open.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to TomTom1111

To be sung to the tune of stormy weather...." Don't know why, got no buttons on my fly, got a zipper, to make it easier for your sister to fysáei all the time"....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Saturday 05/01/2021 10:44 PM DST

TomTom1111 profile image
TomTom1111 in reply to j-o-h-n

To be sung to the tune GFY.


j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to TomTom1111

To be sung to "I would if I could"

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Saturday 05/01/2021 11:12 PM DST

About a year after I finished my RT I had copious rectal bleeding, bright red. Shortly afterwards I had a colonoscopy. The gastroenterologist saw indications of burns to mucosal tissue which she thought was likely radiation proctitis. ( It may not appear until a year or so after treatment.) Not life threatening but scary because of all the blood. I stopped taking low dose aspirin and changed my diet. Very little bleeding since.

I finished my brachy boost treatment in Feb2018 and about a year later I started having blood events and they continue today, over three years later. Hemorrhoids were confirmed in Dec2019 and I've been referred to a clinic that treats hemorrhoids. It happens every seven to ten days and I rarely feel them.

Have had radiation proctitis since two months out from IMRT in 2014. From my research and from my Drs’ more normal to have it further out from IMRT. At first my Oncologist had me using Rx enemas which calmed it down and over the years have gotten used to it and pretty much control it by eating a light diet. Absolutely though work with your Oncologist, Radiation Oncologist and your GP to control it.

I had rectal bleeding, quite a bit after radiation therapy. I went to 2 weeks every day for a 1 hour session of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It worked. NO bleeding since. Several years ago. It is apparently a common problem, but not "normal". The rectal wall just got blasted too much.

I am 21 years out and still bleeding. Sometimes as much as table spoon. Usually accompanied by mild constipation from my Opioids.

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